Three years ago I had an epiphany with regards to science and my working life. This morning, while I was sitting through a weekly research update at my work place, I had another one. I was looking at the slides that were being presented and I knew then that I wanted to stay in research.
I know, I know, I’ve said that I’m looking for a change and that I’m a little burnt out from research. Truthfully I am but today’s talk made me realise how much I love being in the lab. Yes, I complain, moan and despair at the job sometimes but underneath it all, I enjoy it. I love it even. I want to stay in the lab and I love working with the machines, with my hands, pipetting and all that jazz. The only problem is that I need direction.
What I need is a mentor to guide me. Not so much in the hand holding but in showing me where I went wrong and motivation. I learned from my graduate studies that while I can work independently, I still need someone to tell me if I’m on the right track or of I’m way off course. Not hint at me on what to do but full out tell me what I’m doing wrong and what I can do to get back on course.
I want to be the one to do the work, to produce the results and learn how to analyse the data. I don’t want to be the one stuck in the office, writing grant proposals, holding meetings after meetings and just end up being an administrator. I want to stay in the lab, so going forward with a PhD may not be the best thing for me. Also, I don’t think I have the fortitude for it.
So how do I go about getting what I want? I think it’s time to find another lab. I have strong technical skills, as long as they’re not biochemistry but I’m willing to learn. I’m adaptable (after some whining and whinging, that’s my process, deal with it) and I’m good with my hands. I want to continue learning and be the best damn researcher without a PhD that I can be. Now, to find another lab who’s willing to pay me more than what I’m getting now.